News Tag: she-exports
How to Increase Business Competitiveness with Socially Responsible Practices

The CUTIS project and the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce hold a virtual round table for small and medium-sized businesses.

Michael Hopkins, Co-Founder and Fellow of Institute for Responsible Leadership (London), explained:

  • What is a socially responsible business (CSR)? How can SMEs implement CSR practices?
  • What is personal social responsibility?
  • Does treating your company’s key stakeholders responsibly make your business more competitive?
  • How to select your company’s key stakeholders and how to interact with them?

You can download Michael’s presentation via a link (in English).

Emma Turos, Executive Director of the Ukrainian office of the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce, provided practical tips (for Ukrainian SMEs) to adopt socially responsible business in operational and labour practices.

Moreover, Ukrainian businesswomen who have already successfully implemented CSR practices shared their success stories.

Yevheniya Lukash, the owner of Evgakids, children’s clothing company, shared her experience on how the positive interaction/collaboration with a competitor (i.e., external stakeholder) has strengthened her business.

Ruslana Ryamarska, the owner of the family-run bakery Budmo Zdorovi (Smakuli cookies) shared her company’s experience, including challenges, in implementing socially responsible employee practices (i.e., internal stakeholders).

How to systemize your business. Practical advice for SMEs – webinar

The CUTIS project, in partnership with the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce, held a  webinar with Colleen Krebs, Manager of Business Services, Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba (Canada).

Colleen Krebs completed her bachelor’s degree in marketing and immediately launched her entrepreneurial pursuits in the coffee, construction, and renovation industries. She operated a successful café for over eight years managing all aspects of the business including product/service development, H/R, sales, operations planning, and inventory management.

In 2008 Colleen joined the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba where she is currently Manager of Business Services. She continues to inspire and motivate women to pursue their own entrepreneurial dreams by drawing upon her expertise as a skilled facilitator, business advisor, and passionate interpersonal connector.

You can download Colleen’s presentation via the link 

During the webinar participants:

  • Understood what systems are and why they are critical to your business success
  • Understood the benefits of having a systemized business
  • Understood how integrating systems affect business outcomes
  • Learnt more about the mindset and approach entrepreneurs should adopt when apply change to their business
  • Walked though the “how to” implement systems that stick.

Online sales on the ETSY platform: how to succeed – webinar

The CUTIS project and the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce hosted a webinar with Kateryna Voylova, a woman entrepreneur and a business coach who leads the largest team of Ukrainian sellers on the Etsy platform.

Kateryna is the founder of the training community on Facebook and a woman entrepreneur (the Galvan-art store). For more than four years, Kateryna has been teaching courses on business development through the Etsy platform. She is leading in Etsy Ukrteam – the largest team of Ukrainian sellers on the Etsy platform.

In the program:

  • How to open a new store on Etsy
  • COVID-19 pandemic: challenges and opportunities in quarantine and post-quarantine period on Etsy platform
  • How to properly prepare your business for the High Season
  • Prospects for online business in general and Etsy business in particular.

Webinar recording 

 

What to do if your business is temporarily paused because of COVID-19 – webinar

The CUTIS project, in partnership with the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce, held a webinar with the participation of Maria Terekhova, X-Tend Group co-owner.

Maria Terekhova has over 16 years of experience as a top manager and a co-owner of a range of businesses, including tourism and beauty businesses, which have temporarily paused their operations through COVID-19. Besides, Maria is a mentor in the CUTIS SheForShe mentorship program for women entrepreneurs.

Topic: What to do if your business is temporarily paused because of COVID-19

From the webinar video you will learn:

1.How to establish effective business processes in a challenging time of quarantine with:

  • employees
  • contractors
  • customers
  • competitors

2. How to build proper communication with stakeholders

3. How to develop an “alternative plan” while the main business activity is paused

You can download Maria’s presentation (in Ukrainian) via the link.

 

 

Entrepreneurs from Slovyansk discussed how to overcome barriers in women-led businesses

The CUTIS project in cooperation with regional chambers of commerce and industry launched a series of #SheChampion seminars. The main goal is to discuss barriers women entrepreneurs face in business and international trade, as well as share experience in entering foreign markets.

On March 4, in cooperation with the Donetsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the first #SheChampion seminar was held in Slovyansk, bringing together more than 20 participants.

Women entrepreneurs discussed gender issues in international trade, new trends in the Canadian markets and shared success stories of finding new partners in foreign markets.

Natali Ivanova, Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Activities Coordinator by Donetsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry, welcomed the participants of the event. She described what kind of activities the Committee of Women’s Entrepreneurship conducts.

Vira Porovska, an expert on gender issues of the CUTIS project, talked about CUTIS gender component: SheChampion meetings and SHEforSHE Mentorship Program and presented a general report of the gender analysis of small and medium-sized businesses in 5 industries. Gender stereotypes, socially anticipated female behaviour, double burden, and conflict of professional and private roles were at the center of discussing gender barriers faced by women in export activities.

Two successful businesswomen – the founder of Praniville creative workshop Natalia Rak and owner of AB.Zabava Art ceramics & art workshop Hanna Butko shared their experience of creating a business from the very beginning. The stories of women are quite illustrative as they both were forced to start over because of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.

In 2014, Natalia Rak moved from the occupied part of Donbas to Druzhivka where she started making cookies. Trial consignments were bought by friends and acquaintances. Now, prianivil.in.ua is an established small business specialized in unique recipe confectionery. The company is considering expanding its product line.

Until 2014, Anna Butko worked in a consulting firm. After the company ceased its operations, the woman had to find other ways to make her living. She found comfort in her creative work. Anna began to study the secrets of pottery. Now AV.Zabava Art products are known in many countries of the world, including Ukraine, the Czech Republic, and Poland.

Kateryna Vitkovska, trainer, discover the secrets of successful work on the Etsy online platform. Kateryna created her own KvitkaBags brand and sells textiles and handbags all over the world. Kateryna Vitkovskaya also told about reputational risks for sellers, which may entail refusals of sales, negative feedback, etc.

In the second part of the event, the participants had the opportunity to improve their recruiting skills – Vira Porovska held a master class on attracting new specialists to the company.

Dnipro women entrepreneurs learned about new business opportunities and entering foreign markets

The CUTIS project in cooperation with regional chambers of commerce and industry launched a series of #SheChampion seminars. The main goal is to discuss barriers women entrepreneurs face in business and international trade, as well as share experience in entering foreign markets.

On March 3, in cooperation with the Dnipropetrovsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the first #SheChampion seminar was held in Dnipro, bringing together 30 participants.

Women entrepreneurs discussed gender issues in international trade, new trends in the Canadian markets and shared success stories of finding new partners in foreign markets.

Vitaliy Zhmurenko, president of the Dnipropetrovsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry, shared plans to create a platform to support women’s business in the region and spoke about a forum for women entrepreneurs in the autumn.

Oleksandr Bondarenko, Head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration, stressed the importance of the development of women’s entrepreneurship. In the Dnepropetrovsk region, only one in five businesses is founded by women, so there is still a lot of work to be done. Dnepropetrovsk region is the leader in Ukraine in terms of the production of goods and export volumes. That is why the development of women’s entrepreneurship has considerable economic potential.

Vira Porovska, an expert on gender issues of the CUTIS project, talked about CUTIS gender component: SheChampion meetings and SHEforSHE Mentorship Program and presented a general report of the gender analysis of small and medium-sized businesses in 5 industries. Gender stereotypes, socially anticipated female behaviour, double burden, and conflict of professional and private roles were at the center of discussing gender barriers faced by women in export activities.

Iryna Hrytsai, Deputy Head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration, described local government’s achievements in gender equality. In particular, Irina spoke about the creation of a coordination council and the development of a regional family and gender policy program.

Svitlana Cherevko, a Leading specialist of the Export Support Center of the Department of Foreign Economic Relations of the Dnepropetrovsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry, CUTIS Trainer, came out with useful electronic resources helping women-led SMEs in exporting to Canada.

Alina Scherbina, founder of “BE in UA” platform talked about the complexity of entering new markets, the main barriers and how to overcome them. The platform helps to promote the products of local manufacturers, conducts a range of events and develops educational projects for creative business.

In the end, Vira Porovska, conducted a masterclass about recruitment issues for SMEs. She focused on the main three questions that every employer should ask hiring an employee. The participants worked on staff’s motivation, carrier circle and questions to be prepared to discover and evaluate the knowledge, skills, motivation, and compatibility of prospective workers.

SheChampion: Vinnytsia and Khmelnytsky women entrepreneurs studied successful export experience to foreign markets

The CUTIS project in cooperation with regional chambers of commerce and industry launched a series of #SheChampion seminars. The main goal is to discuss barriers women entrepreneurs face in business and international trade, as well as share experience in entering foreign markets.

On February 19, in cooperation with the Khmelnytsky Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the first #SheChampion seminar was held in Khmelnytsky, bringing together 30 participants.

Women entrepreneurs discussed gender issues in international trade, new trends in the Canadian markets and shared success stories of finding new partners in foreign markets.

Vira Porovska, CUTIS gender equality expert, made a presentation related to the main barriers for women’s SMEs in exporting (according to GBA report). She also conducted a master class ‘How to find the right people to your business’. The participants learned how to determine what competencies a specialist should possess and how to conduct a professional interview in the absence of a qualified HR.

Maryana Ovcharuk (handcrafted soap “Soap Stories”) and Galina Mikhnyak (CASCAD-HOLOD, furniture and logistics services) explained the complexity of entering new markets based on their own experiences. Besides, they focused on barriers and provided practical advice on how to overcome the challenges.

On February 20, the third #SheChampion seminar was held in Vinnytsia in cooperation with the Vinnytsia Chamber of Commerce and Industry. About 36 women entrepreneurs participated in the event.

During the seminar, the participants learned about gender issues in international trade, and perspective sectors for Ukrainian small and medium enterprises in the Canadian market.

In particular, Vira Porovska CUTIS gender equality expert shared the main achievements of the SHEforSHE mentorship program for women entrepreneurs.

Maria Terekhova, managing partner of the New Fashion Zone platform and one of the mentors of the SHEforSHE program, spoke about the changes introduced by the participants (manufacturers of children’s clothing) as a part of the preparation for the Apparel Sourcing Paris exhibition. Maria also shared her impressions of negotiation with foreign buyers in Paris and explained the basic requirements of foreign distributors to Ukrainian clothing and textiles. Participants also discussed the specifics of the Canadian apparel market and change Ukrainian producers need to adapt.

Besides, trainer Kateryna Voylova provided expertise and professional advice concerning promoting hand-made products on the ETSY platform. During the presentation, issues such as product placement, pricing, and paying difficulties were raised.

In the end, Vira Porovska held a master class to increase staff motivation.

Similar events are planned in other regions of Ukraine. The next seminar will be in Dnipro on March 3. So keep an eye on the updates.

Ukrainian women entrepreneurs in Paris – a new chapter of the SHEforSHE mentorship program

With the support of the CUTIS project, three Ukrainian women entrepreneurs Olesya Timoshyk (TimiTex), Eugenia Lukash (Evgakids) and Kateryna Volkova (Sasha) participated in the largest French textile and apparel exhibition, which took place in Paris from February 10 to 13. That was part of the CUTIS SHEforSHE mentorship program aiming to support the development of women’s businesses in Ukraine and promote their products in foreign markets.

One other Ukrainian company, Jenadin, a knitwear manufacturer, participated in the exhibition catwalk.

The mentor of the SHEforSHE program is Maria Terekhova from Trade House New Fashion Zone, who already has successful experience in promoting Ukrainian apparel in foreign markets.

“For us, as a company that is just planning to enter international markets, participating in such exhibitions is a necessary and very important step. It is an opportunity, at the least, to feel the needs of the market and the requirements for manufacturers, and, at the most, to find new customers”, Olesya Tymoshyk from Chernihiv said.

For Eugenia Lukash (Kherson), founder of Evgakids online children’s clothing store, a trip to Paris also became the first experience of participating in an international apparel exhibition.

‘We are very grateful to the CUTIS project for this opportunity. The Apparel Sourcing Paris is so impressive. We are proud that our first international exhibition is the biggest garment sourcing show in Europe with more than 600 exhibitors from all over the world,’ Eugenia Lukash noted.

According to Kateryna Volkova from Slavutych, who produces children dresses under Sasha trademark, participation in the Apparel Sourcing Paris was a great opportunity to expand to new markets, establish contacts with new partners and present new products.

Jenadin’s participation in the catwalk has become a real highlight of the event. The Ukrainian knitwear producer was highly appreciated by the Parisian public. This success is significant for the producer given the fact that it was the first time for Jenadin to demonstrate its models at such a top international fashion show.

‘I’m very happy that we could present our collection, and also represent Ukrainian manufacturers at the Apparel Sourcing Paris. I want to thank the CUTIS project for giving us this opportunity and unbelievable experience,’ Jenadin CEO Nadiia Koziarivska said.

Maria Terekhova gave a presentation at the Apparel Sourcing Paris regarding benefits that international partners may have working with Ukrainian apparel companies. Maria made a brief overview of the Ukrainian apparel market and spoke about the specifics of searching a business partner in Ukraine.

“Events such as the Apparel Sourcing Paris exhibition are a great opportunity to present Ukraine as an interesting partner for private label production and fruitful cooperation with international retailers. During the event, we got acquainted with African and Latin American buyers. It’s a whole new negotiation experience for us”, Maria mentioned.

According to Olga Shtepa, CUTIS project coordinator, the participation of four Ukrainian companies in the international exhibition in Paris once again confirmed the opinion that Ukrainian companies are fabulous.

‘Businesses are usually established by intuitively searching for potentially profitable market niches and creating products suitable for their founders, but in a very short time, they may grow to the level of a national manufacturer, or even higher. They start planning strategic export activities, creating new jobs and conquering international podiums. Therefore, it is a pleasure to be part of the CUTIS project and the SHEforSHE mentorship program aiming to help grow such businesses and support their efforts to enter the global arena, ‘Olga Shtepa summarized.

SHEforSHE Mentorship Program: CUTIS Project brings women’s businesses to a new level

In 2019, the CUTIS project presented a gender-based analysis report on the export challenges of Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The main objective of the study was to identify gender-based challenges of women-owned or -led enterprises in exporting and provide recommendations on reducing these barriers.

The report confirmed that traditional gender stereotypes hinder women’s advancement in business. The survey participants indicated that permanent access to mentoring and professional development is an important element of success in building their own business.

This is how the idea of CUTIS introducing a SHEforSHE Mentorship Program came about with the aim to support development of women’s businesses in Ukraine and promote their products in foreign markets, primarily, in Canada.

TM SASHA (children’s dresses) production

Two mentors, who already have successful experience in promoting products in foreign markets, were selected. They are Maria Terekhova (Kyiv, New Fashion Zone platform) and Ruslana Rymarska (Lviv, Smakuli cookies), participants of our U CAN Export Support Program for Ukrainian SMEs.

In partnership with the Regional Chambers of Commerce, two teams of participants were formed. The following factors were taken into account during the selection: business development dynamics, availability of an interesting product (or prospects for its creation), export potential, and most importantly, readiness for change and implementation of ideas developed during their participation in the program.

The first team headed by Maria Terekhova as mentor included the following mentees: Olesya Tymoshyk (Chernihiv, children’s clothing TM “TimTex”), Kateryna Volkova (Slavutych, TM SHUBA (home and baby textiles) and TM SASHA (children’s dresses) and Yevhenia Lukash (Kherson, EvgaKids children’s clothing Internet store).

Maria Terekhova and Kateryna Volkova

 

The second team consisting of mentees Halyna Ishchak (Ivano-Frankivsk, private entrepreneur, cakes and biscuits) and Iryna Fishchuk (Ivano-Frankivsk, private entrepreneur, confectionery) is headed by Ruslana Rymarska.

Meeting of Ruslana Rymarska and potential participants of the program

 

As Kateryna Volkova shared, the mentor visited the enterprise in Slavutych as part of the cooperation. During the meeting, the main challenges facing the company and complexity of entering new markets were discussed and a plan for further cooperation was developed. Every week, the mentor and the mentee discuss implementation of the developed plan of changes via Skype.

Children’s dresses TM SASHA

 

“There were a lot of issues that I have been trying to solve over the years. I found some of the answers to these questions myself, and of some with the help of Maria Terekhova, my mentor. It became clear to me that in order to work effectively in foreign markets, the company needs an export specialist. Finding one requires additional time and financial resources. Then the idea came up: why wouldn’t I master a new profession myself? This is exactly what I am focusing on now”, – Kateryna shares her experience.

According to Olesya Tymoshyk (TM “TimiTex”), while working with her mentor, she was able to modernize the design of clothes for the nursling to find a new client (B2B) and a new supplier of fabrics that she is currently negotiating with.

New product

 

“When you have been working for a long time, you get used to the technological process, your models, and you do not always understand the need for change. It is difficult to stop, figuratively speaking, step aside and watch the company without sentiment. This is where you need external experts with new, different, broader experience and knowledge, who immediately see what needs to be changed, improved, removed or added. Maria Terekhova is an expert with whom I was fortunate to work in one team. Her excellent experience, contacts and resources enhance our business and drive us to grow”, – says Olesya.

We wish our mentors and mentees further success in the development of Ukrainian women’s businesses. We will keep you informed of further achievements of these dynamic women entrepreneurs!

Vinnytsia women entrepreneurs discussed the most promising sectors for Ukrainian exports to Canada

The CUTIS project in cooperation with regional chambers of commerce and industry launched a series of #SheChampion seminars. The main goal is to discuss barriers women entrepreneurs face in business and international trade, as well as share experience in entering foreign markets.

On October 17, in cooperation with the Vinnytsia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the second SheChampion seminar was held in Vinnytsia, bringing together about 30 participants.

During the event, the participants learned about gender issues in international trade, and perspective sectors for Ukrainian small and medium enterprises in the Canadian market. Inna Konovchuk, a leading expert at the Vinnytsia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, provided key information about Canada which Ukrainian businesses need to be successful in the Canadian market.

Maksym Boroda, CUTIS senior trade and investment policy expert, paid attention to major trends in the Canadian footwear, clothing, furniture, and confectionery markets.

At the end of the event, the participants had the opportunity to take part in an interactive master class on employees’ motivation. Vira Porovska, CUTIS gender expert, explained how to retain key specialists using non-financial motivation.

In the process of the seminar, women entrepreneurs exchanged advice, accumulated new ideas for improving the export strategies of their enterprises, shared their experience and set up new business contacts.